Crafty Basketry's Stripped Willow or Rattan Lampshade - Day Course at Penhurst Retreat Centre



These courses are for absolute beginners and for people who've made a basket or two. Teenagers from the age of 12 are also able to take part. What do I make? You will be making a lampshade, using a number of basketry techniques to make your item rigid. It's a great day to spend with friends, but also really refreshing to share with like-minded people you've not met before. Weaving with willow can be quite colourful and is great for a rustic look. It’s a little strenuous on the hands, but very easily managed by applying certain techniques. Rattan is very light, as the material is very fine and easy to soak and dye and use. Good for the Soul Weaving with natural fibres is enormously relaxing. You make an object with your own hands, you’re in the moment, getting into the rhythm of it, almost in a meditative way. It is very therapeutic, as you are bringing body and mind back in sync. The wonderful thing is getting away into the countryside and getting stuck into designing and weaving your own basket, using age-old techniques that have not changed through the generations. Is this something for me? You will be weaving, using slender rattan or stripped willow and a few basketry techniques which are easy to grasp. Part of making a lampshade is free-style and playful and is less methodical than, for instance, weaving a basket. Over the years, people with disabilities, or who were thought to be lesser abled were still able to weave with willow or rattan. Most of the grounds of Penhurst Retreat Centre and all buildings have full disabled access. Not quite sure about your abilities or whether your fingers will manage, then just get in touch and I will assess to see whether it's for you. Locations I try to organise the courses in rural locations; on farms for instance. This way, we have the benefits of nature around us to fully reconnect and rewild. Please contact me for a more tailored experience, should you wish to organise a private course, for instance, or if you have needs that may need to be considered. Please note: A minimum of four delegates is required to run this course. Should bookings not reach the minimum number, this course may be rescheduled. Please book your course a week-and-a-half before the course date to allow for the preparation to take place.

What's included in the price?

All materials, use of tools (if you don't like using your own) and teas, coffees and cakes are included. I ask people to bring lunch. There will be fruit for when we get peckish.


6½ hours

Cancellation policy

Strict - Cancellation and a full refund can be obtained up to 8 weeks before the course starts



Crafty Basketry

with Craft Courses since 2021

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Marianne has been a basketmaker since 2006 and teaches the age-old techniques now applied to contemporary baskets She teaches weaving with willow, hedgerow, rattan and rush. The locations are usually on smallholdings and forest school areas in Kent and East Sussex to fully experience the grounding power of nature. Classes are small, giving you all the guidance you need to create your very own design.

Suitable for

  • Adults
  • Seniors
  • Teenagers
  • Children
  • Wheelchair users
  • Hearing impaired
  • Vision impaired
  • Limited mobility
  • Learning difficulties (SEN)
  • Hen dos
  • Father's Day
  • Accommodation offered
  • Mother's Day
  • Intermediate level
  • School holiday workshops & activities
  • UK Holiday
  • Parking provided
  • Suitable for beginners
  • Overseas Holiday
  • Engagement, birthdays & anniversaries
  • Romantic
  • Corporate days out & team building
  • Stag dos
  • Easter
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What does this mean?
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Hire rates of some of the venues can be much higher than others. Other venues may add an additional charge per student, not discriminating between half or full-day students. To still be able to teach in the area you live in and to keep you from having to come to me, I had to revert to putting those prices up a little.

All materials, use of tools, teas, coffees and sometimes mince pies, nibbles and mulled wine are included in the price.

I do advise people to bring a packed lunch, although at some venues they can provide lunch. Please get in touch, if you'd like to find out more about a certain course and the lunch that can be provided.

Yes, I teach children from the age of 8, usually, but have noticed that home-taught children adapt much more easily to weaving with natural materials then children who have followed the mainstream route. Please get in touch and we can discuss your wishes.

Yes, happy to do this! Let me know in what area you live and whether you have a venue in mind (it's not always easy for me to find a venue that is the right size with kitchenette, toilets and outside space) and I will arrange a course there. It'll take me about 3 months to arrange this and have a fully-booked course, so why not get in touch now and we'll discuss what you have in mind.

I advise people to share a car where they can. However, if it's just you, there should be ample spaces to choose from, should you arrive in time; half an hour before the course start time.

Not all venues have spaces for disabled, but please let me know in advance and I will make sure you will be able to park as close to the front door as possible.

If you wish, you could bring bodkins, secateurs, knife and wrapping tool, but I will provide you with all the tools you need for what you'll be making.

From the age of 8, they should be able to make small projects. From the age of 12, they should be able to weave a basket. However, please get in touch to find out whether your child is ready for it yet.

People on the spectrum will be very capable of weaving baskets, as they understand the rhythm, patterns and the methodical way of working. Are you struggling with (pre-)menopause, or early onset of dementia, then you may struggle and perhaps trying a shorter course instead of weaving a basket would be a safer option for you.

For most other mental health issues, weaving a basket, being with like-minded people from varying backgrounds and in nature is very beneficial. It can give those a sense of freedom and joy, as well as confidence of getting out and about and self esteem, having achieved making a basket from scratch.

I intend to add dates once a course is nearly fully booked. Please get in touch, if you have a date in mind that is 3 months in advance, or if you'd like to organise a private course for friends or family.


The Manor House, Penhurst, East Sussex, TN33 9QP